I am a (Recovering) Judgmental A-Hole
"Natural birth is best."
"Low-risk women belong in the care of a Midwife."
"Cascade of interventions..."
and more. All of these things have come out of my mouth or across the screen by my name.
Because my name is Mallory, I'm a recovering judgmental a-hole, and there is really zero other way I could put that.
Let's take it back to the beginning.
I have three kids. 4 1/2 years ago I gave birth to my oldest daughter in a hospital under the care of an OB. I hadn't done research, I didn't know any options, I wasn't aware there were things called doulas, and I didn't know a childbirth education class was a good idea. I was 21, a first-time mom, and very focused on things like nursery colors and car seats.
That birth was terrible.
So, as many of us often do, I projected my reality onto the lives of others thereby judging their choices based on my own. I swung so far to the other end of the spectrum that my second birth was at home, in water under the care of a Midwife.
That birth was beautiful.
So again, as many of us often do, I projected my reality onto the lives of others thereby judging their choices based on my own.
When I decided to become a doula I thought I could save women. I thought I should advocate for them, educate them, give them the "right" options to choose. I decided the right birth was a home birth. Or at least and unmedicated vaginal birth.
When I trained, I had non judgmental support explained to me but I still held on to some my reservations.
What can I say? I'm a stubborn one.
Then I attended my first birth and I realized some very important things.
Some interventions are necessary and could even be preferred. Most births don't go the way you plan. All births are beautiful.
I've had the honor of watching a mother catch her own baby at home underwater. I've also had the honor of meeting a mother in recovery after her unplanned cesarean birth. Both were equally beautiful. Both were equally birth.
When we make judgment calls on what is "right" and "wrong" in someone's birth space we take away their power and we make their choice about us.
So, I began fully trusting my clients. Because my clients aren't stupid. My clients are some of the most wisdom-filled and brilliant people I've ever met.
And, in turn, I began to trust myself. The more I trusted myself the more I realized that many birth and parenting ideals I held were in place solely because someone made a judgment on what I was doing.
I then vowed that I'd never again be the judgmental asshole. Because women are smart. Our bodies are wise. Our babies are wise.
I want you to know that my judgment does not belong in your birth space or your home (nor does anyone else's). As a birth and postpartum doula, I'm here to support your decisions and make suggestions based on what your goals are. You know the right way. I'm just here to help you uncover it.
Curious about what doula support free of shame looks like? Click here to learn more!